Glaisher-Coxwell balloon flight, 1860s

Glaisher-Coxwell balloon flight, 1860s

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: James Glaisher (1809-1903), an English meteorologist and aeronaut, on the left, with Henry Tracey Coxwell (1819-1900), a professional balloonist, on the right,. They were commissioned by the British Association to undertake a programme of experimental work in the upper atmosphere. With some success they investigated meteorological phenomena such as the effect of altitude on air temperature, pressure, humidity, solar radiation, winds, precipitation, clouds and visibility. Also, they examined magnetic vibrations, the presence of ozone and the Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum. Between 1862 and 1866 they made 17 ascents. Being unaware of the dangers of high-altitude flight with its extremely low temperatures and barometric pressures they suffered from frostbite and hypoxia (lack of oxygen). Once Glaisher became unconscious at 8.800metres (29000 ft).

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Keywords: aeronaut, altitude, atmosphere, balloon british association, balloonist, barometer, barometric, coxwell, fraunhofer, glaisher, history of meteorology, humidity, hypoxia, magnetic, magnetism, meteorology, ozone, precipitation, pressure, solar, spectrum, sun, temperature, upper atmosphere, wind

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